International Oil Companies (IOCs) and their local counterparts operating in the Niger Delta region, especially Ogoniland, should set aside funds for post clean-up exercise of the area, the Chairman, Institute of Oil and Gas and Research and Hydrocarbon Studies(IOGRHS), Professor Akin Akindoyeni, has said.
The firms include Shell Nigeria, Chevron and Agip among others. He said the development became necessary in order to prevent a re-occurence of environmental degredations, arising from oil spillage in the area.
the Federal Government’s decision to rid Ogoniland of wastes that had destroyed their rivers, farmlands, trees and other natural habitats, he said, is a welcome development adding that there is the need to continue the cleaning later in the future.
Speaking at an Oil and Gas Forum last week in Lagos, he said funds set aside for post clean-up of Ogoniland and its environs would be used for research purposes.
He said research requires expertise and funds, adding that research into the composition of the soil used for farming and prevention of effects on environmental degradation in the area would be easier, when the necessary resources are put in place.
He said the huge post clean- up funding would help harness the potentials of the oil producing zone and make it economically viable.
“We believe the responsibility of the oil companies are not exhausted until there is economic utility in the exercise. We do not want to propagate any kind of mind-twisting inputs until we have facts and these facts should be based on focus research,” Akindoyemi said, adding that the research would provide technical and economic benefits in the industry.
“More people would not only have their skills sharpened, but would be able to make economic gains out of the exercise. The reason is because the fish would migrate to the shoreline, where it would be caught for feeding and other activities,” he said.
Also, the Institute has decried the continued 100 per cent crude oil export and refined products import, stating that huge revenue, and infrastructure and employment opportunities are being frittered away in the process.
He said tremendous progress is being made in the production of Shale oil and other energy resources in order to reduce green gas emissions, adding that if the current rate of progress is maintained, the country would demand less for the oil production and usher in a more rapid growth in the area of manufacturing and others in United States.